Ireland and Lions centre Jared Payne forced to retire

Ireland and British and Irish Lions centre Jared Payne has retired from rugby, Ireland province Ulster have announced.

The 32-year-old won 20 Ireland caps and last played for the Lions on their tour of his native New Zealand last summer.

The versatile back was unable to recover sufficiently from a head injury suffered on that Lions tour to return for his province and will now become the defence coach at Kingspan.

It was also announced that Payne will join up with Ireland for their summer tour of Australia to work with the national team coaches.

Speaking to Ulster Rugby TV last February, he said: “I had to come off [for the Lions v Chiefs] but I didn’t think anything of it, a little bit headachey and sore that week, but nothing too bad.

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